Business Planning Made Less Painful

If you're dreaming of starting a grazing operation, if you've ever asked "what kind of animals should I raise?" if you're considering adding a new enterprise, or would like to get a loan to expand, a business plan is in your future. Why? Business planning helps you ask questions that clarify where you want to go, and how the potential business would do at getting you there. Yes, it can be tedious. Yes, it can make you feel like you got stuck on an elevator with the most boring person in the universe while on the way to a really great party. But the process gives your dreams a practical foundation and helps you identify problems before they happen so you can create solutions or head a different direction. Here's a tool to make it easier. AgPlan is a website developed by the University of Minnesota that takes users step-by-step through the business planning process for different business types (Ag-Commodity, Ag-Value Added, Organic Transition, Personal Plan or Small Business). Each type has it's own outline and includes tips or questions to help you develop each section of the plan, as well as examples to look at, and links to additional resources. For example, I registered (which is free) and selected "Small Business." After naming my plan, my account wa

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